Hot Springs Pickle Ball – a dilly of a good time for everyone!

By Charity Maness

HOT SPRINGS – The sport of Pickleball has taken Hot Springs by storm, and with the recent formation of the Hot Springs Area Pickleball Club (HSAPC), it is sure to really take off.

“We began the club in the winter of 2022,” said President Jason Midgley, “and have more than 20 active members.”

Anyone with an interest can play Pickleball at the Mueller Center Monday and Tuesdays from 10 am to noon and 6-8 pm in the center’s open Pickleball play time.

“Anyone is welcome,” said Joan Howard, HSAPC board member, “it really is fun for any age. Paddles and balls are available, just show up.”

With the club’s oldest player being 86 and the youngest 14, Howard’s claim seems to be a reality.

“I used to play tennis but I hurt my knees,” explain Howard, “so I tried Pickleball and I really enjoy it.”

“It’s great exercise,” said Emily Moffit, HSAPC secretary, “and really fun socialization.”

While the name of the sport infers a pickle may be involved, that is just not so. The sport, developed in the 1980s, is a loose combination of ping pong, wiffle ball and tennis, all played on a special mini tennis court.

Pickleball courts are roughly half the size of a tennis court with non-volley areas. 

The game can be played one-on-one or doubles and is played to a score of 11. The paddles can be made of wood or carbonite and the ball is similar to a wiffle ball yet denser. It requires a bit of hand/eye coordination and a love of something fun.

“We used to RV and Pickleball was big in the Southwest,” said Midgley. So when they moved to Hot Springs, starting the club was not only to create a social setting but also to introduce people to a game that was fun for all ages. “I also like the competitive aspect.” 

The club members as well as the community can also play at any time at Butler Park.

Currently, Butler Park has two Pickleball courts, both in need of repair and or replacement. 

Midgley’s love of the sport, and the needs of the town’s playing courts, motivated him to kick the club up a notch and become a 501c3.

The club has already spoken with the city in regards to modifying the tennis courts in Butler Park to one tennis court and three Pickleball courts. Their pitch was well-received and now they are in the process of obtaining funds to make this a reality.

While Hot Springs is limited to two areas of play, surrounding towns have scratched much of their tennis courts in favor of Pickleball courts. 

“Rapid City offers many locations to play,” said Hillary Midgley, “I enjoy going to lots of courts. There are so many levels and styles of play and playing with different people makes each game unique.”

“Really, anyone can play,” said Howard, “if you want to learn more just come on down.” She also suggested that folks may want to look at a game or two on YouTube, she is sure after watching one they will want to play. “There must be a zillion baby boomers and we are playing the game.”

For more information on HSAPC visit them on Facebook at HSAPickleball or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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